‘Festivus Report’ – $54 billion in wasteful government spending: ‘Alcoholic rats’, ‘Treadmill-walking lizards’


WASHINGTON, DC — As the American people suffered through a year of unrelenting misery and economic pain, the United States government spent billions on alcoholic rats and treadmill-walking lizards.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) released a report Wednesday detailing over $54 billion in government waste in the fiscal year 2020. Paul, chairman of the Federal Spending Oversight and Emergency Management (FSO) Subcommittee for the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee (HSGAC), released what he calls his “2020 Festivus Report” detailing government spending waste in six categories: healthcare, foreign aid, energy, science, military, and miscellaneous spending.

In the report, Paul wrote:

“We’ve had 15-day lockdowns to stop COVID from spreading now stretching into nearly a year, wreaking havoc on Americans’ health, sanity, and economy, while also empowering petty tyrants across the country.

“While this was happening, Congress spent like never before, doing to ostensibly without a care.”

The report stated that while some of the government’s Fiscal Year 2020 deficit of $3.1 trillion was attributable to the pandemic, a large portion was not. The report cited $25 million given to the Kennedy Center for salaries as an example. The report pointed out other expenses it labeled as wasteful, saying:

“Maybe, just maybe, cutting agencies blank checks is why the debt skyrocketed from $23 trillion to more than $27 trillion.”

Paul’s report pointed out that the average taxpaying citizen paid about $10,006.55 in taxes to cover the $54 billion in waste, the report found. The report said that, in other words, 5,471,368 people paid taxes just to cover the wasteful spending.

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The report listed specific spending as wasteful in each of the categories:

  1. Healthcare
    • Researchers used federal funds from grants worth $1,327,781.72 to see if you would eat ground-up bugs.
    • Researchers spent funds from eight National Institutes of Health grants, totaling 36,831,620.00 to study why stress makes hair turn gray.
    • The National Health Institute is spending $1,471,617.00 to get Eastern Mediterranean youth to stop smoking hookah.
    • University researchers used funds from a National Cancer Institute grant worth $6,973,057.00 to create a “smart toilet” prototype.
    • The National Institutes of Health’s National Cancer Institute is spending $1,246,507.00 to get adults to stop watching so much television.
    • The National Institutes of Health spent $896,994.00 giving cigarettes to kids.
    • The National Institutes of Health is spending $3,452,234.00 to test if social media messages will get moms to stop their adolescent daughters from using indoor tanning salons.
    • National Institutes of Health is spending $2,004,704.00 to see if hot tubbing can lower stress.

  1. Foreign Aid
    • The U.S. State Department is spending up to $150,000.00 to put on art classes for Kenyan artists.
    • S. Department of State planned to spend $75,000.000 on Olympic-themed events in Singapore.
    • S. Agency for International Development is spending $37,500,000.00 to help deal with truant Filipino youth.
    • The U.S. Department of State’s Consulate in Mumbai spent up to $30,000.00 to inspire social good through theater.
    • S. Agency for International Development is spending $10,000,000.00 and 5 years to attempt to improve Zimbabwe’s political process.
    • The U.S. Agency for International Development is spending $48,000,000.00 over 5 years to help disconnected Tunisian youth.
    • The U.S. State Department is spending $3,250,000.00 to send Russians to American community colleges for a “gap year.”
    • S. State Department is spending up to $200,000.00 to host book clubs for Pakistani and Afghan kids.

  1. Environment, Energy, Science
    • Researchers spent funds from National Science Foundation grants worth $1,557,083.00 to walk lizards on a treadmill.
    • The Fish & Wildlife Service spent $13,546,889.40 in FY20 on the Boating Infrastructure Grant Program, including yacht subsidies.
    • The National Science Foundation is spending $199,864.00 to see how people cooperate while playing e-sport video games.
    • The National Science Foundation is spending $199,995.00 to get people to walk around New York City with cameras to see if people changed their behavior after coronavirus lockdowns began.
    • The National Science Foundation is spending $1,304,454.00 to subsidize an insect ranching company’s research and development efforts.
    • The National Science Foundation is spending $2,075,074.00 to develop a wearable headset to track eating behavior.

  1. Military
    • The Department of Defense has spent $23,900,000,000.00 and 20 years trying, unsuccessfully, to replace the Bradley Fighting Vehicle.
    • S. Africa Command and the U.S. Air Force in Europe-Air Forces Africa spent $110,000,000.00 bungling the construction of a drone base in Niger, resulting in alleged violations of law, safety concerns for personnel, mission delays, and more.
    • The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers spent $4,500,000.00 to build a structurally deficient road and a bridge in Afghanistan.
    • The Department of Defense repurposed money from a $1,000,000,000.00 coronavirus response fund for acquisitions ostensibly unrelated to coronavirus.
    • The Department of Defense potentially lost up to $715,800,000.00 in equipment designated for Syrians fighting ISIS.
    • The Department of Defense spent $174,000,000.00 supplying drones to the Afghan National Army and then subsequently lost them.
    • The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers spent $3,100,000.00 on an Afghan National Police women’s compound that has no electricity and has never been used.

  1. Miscellaneous Spending
    • The Federal Aviation Administration spent $19,999,869.00 rebuilding a taxiway for airplanes on Nantucket Island, a posh summer vacation destination for America’s rich and famous.
    • The Federal Emergency Management Agency spent $10,502,997.50 on test tubes and swabs for coronavirus tests, but received unusable soda bottles.
    • Researchers spent funds from grants from the National Science Foundation and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency worth $2,819,702.02 to prepare bugs for you to eat.
    • Researchers used grants from the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Veterans Affairs worth $4,575,431.00 to spray alcoholic rats with bobcat urine.

The report comes as President Donald Trump refuses to sign the $900 billion dollar Coronavirus relief bill for not providing enough economic relief to citizens:

“I’m asking Congress to amend this bill and increase the ridiculously low $600 to $2000 or $4000 per couple. I’m also asking Congress to immediately get rid of the wasteful and unnecessary items in this legislation or to send me a suitable bill.

“A few months ago, Congress started negotiations on a new package to get urgently needed help to the American people. It’s taken forever.

“However, the bill they are now planning to send back to my desk is much different than anticipated. It really is a disgrace.”




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